Jenson Button says it is essential he gets up to speed with his new surroundings at McLaren in order to get his championship defence off to a good start.
New team mate Lewis Hamilton revealed the pair will meet up at Woking later this month but haven’t seen each other since Button’s shock McLaren switch was revealed in November.
Here’s the full Q&A supplied by McLaren:
You?σΤιΌΤδσre now officially a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ how does it feel?
?σΤιΌ?τObviously, it?σΤιΌΤδσs fantastic to be part of one of the most famous names in Formula 1. But it?σΤιΌΤδσs also exhilarating: I?σΤιΌΤδσd been at the same team for seven years so this is a big cultural change for me, and something that I?σΤιΌΤδσm really looking forward to.
?σΤιΌ?τThere are a lot of new faces to remember and lots of names to learn ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ and that?σΤιΌΤδσs all got to be done alongside the engineering and limited testing we have ahead of the 2010 season. But I?σΤιΌΤδσm loving every minute of it ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ the atmosphere within the team feels fantastic, and I?σΤιΌΤδσve already started to feel at home here. I can?σΤιΌΤδσt wait to get out in the fantastic new car the team has built for me!?σΤιΌ?Ψ
Where do your priorities lie over the next four weeks?
?σΤιΌ?τHaving no testing until the first week of February is something of a mixed blessing ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ it gives me the time to really get to know the guys at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and to properly integrate myself into the team ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ which I am absolutely committed to doing ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ but, equally, it?σΤιΌΤδσs another month without any running in the car ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ and getting miles under my belt will be crucial ahead of the first race.
?σΤιΌ?τSo, it?σΤιΌΤδσs only natural that there will be a lot of factory-based work for the next few weeks. I?σΤιΌΤδσll be starting to work with my engineers, who are a fantastic bunch of guys. But, honestly, I really cannot wait to get out to Valencia and get my first run in the MP4-25 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ I think that?σΤιΌΤδσs when it will finally sink in that I?σΤιΌΤδσm a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver.?σΤιΌ?Ψ
2010: a new year ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ how are you planning the successful defence of your world title?
?σΤιΌ?τObviously, my aim is to keep the number one on my car for as long as possible! But, at the moment, it?σΤιΌΤδσs a little bit too early to start talking about the world championship. The backbone of any title challenge is built on good preparation, hard word, focus and dedication.
?σΤιΌ?τAnd the hard work starts here ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ the next 10 weeks could well largely dictate the destiny of the 2010 world championship, so it?σΤιΌΤδσs crucial that we start testing very strongly and that we never let up.
?σΤιΌ?τI?σΤιΌΤδσm more motivated than ever to work with the team and my engineers, and I?σΤιΌΤδσve extremely positive for the year ahead.?σΤιΌ?Ψ
How have you been preparing for the 2010 season?
?σΤιΌ?τI?σΤιΌΤδσve been mainly training and trying to keep fit. At the end of the 2009 season, I promised myself that I would aim to be 100 per cent fit and focused on the new year, so I?σΤιΌΤδσve been working hard. When I?σΤιΌΤδσm not training, I?σΤιΌΤδσve just been at home in Geneva, preparing for Christmas and the new year.?σΤιΌ?Ψ
Are you looking forward to trying the new car for the first time?
?σΤιΌ?τYes, I?σΤιΌΤδσm excited and can?σΤιΌΤδσt wait to see it and test it. Hopefully, it?σΤιΌΤδσs going to be great for our team next year. I?σΤιΌΤδσll be working closely with my engineers and the team to make sure we all hit the ground running with the new car.
?σΤιΌ?τYou can never take competitiveness for granted in Formula 1 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ we saw that last year ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ so our common goal has to be to make MP4-25 a winning proposition as quickly as possible. Only once we?σΤιΌΤδσve achieved that can we start looking at winning races and then, eventually, the world championship.?σΤιΌ?Ψ
Have you had much of a chance to speak to Jenson yet?
?σΤιΌ?τNot yet, unfortunately. Our paths haven?σΤιΌΤδσt really crossed since he was announced at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes back in November. We?σΤιΌΤδσve both been to MTC for our seat fittings ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ but they were on different days. The first time we?σΤιΌΤδσll start working together is later this month, when we?σΤιΌΤδσll both be at Woking together, then we?σΤιΌΤδσll have the launch and the first test. We?σΤιΌΤδσll be sharing the pre-season testing equally, and it will be important to keep a crossover of information between us to make sure we are both pulling in the right direction.?σΤιΌ?Ψ